Can you collect unemployment if you quit job due to stress?

can I collect unemployment if i quit my job due to stress

Can I collect unemployment if I quit my job due to stress?
You might be eligible to collect unemployment as long as the reason is documented and strong enough

Stress and Health:

Stress in the workplace is a real thing. Tens of thousands of people all across the world face extremely stressful work environments. Such extremely pressuring and stressful work environments depend on daily results from the employees. Adding to that the competition these days for jobs is so high that there are always many people waiting in line to fill your spot which can fuel anxiety in the employees as they do not have a sense of security. Such environments are where survival is a must. Those who are able to perform under that pressure get to stay while the others get replaced. Such volatile and hostile work environments where every employee is worried about their job safety and is not willing to give up his paycheck to someone else in line is what fuels their stress and anxiety as they work day in and out to try and meet deadlines and stand out so that they are saved from getting fired or replaced. 

It is true that sometimes fear is the biggest motivator and has the ability to push people to new heights and lead them to discover talents or powers they never knew they had. However, this is feasible and useful on a small scale for a small period of time. Keeping up this do or die situation for too long can cause employees to severely burn out which can have the opposite of the desired effect on their performance sending them on a downward spiral from which employees seldom recover. Stress clouds judgment. The human mind gets tired by obsessing so much and stressing so much day in and day out. This is what causes tempers to flare, people to break down and employees to end up hating their job and resenting the company for hiring them in the first place. While the salary or making money is important, what good is it when the person making it is just unhappy all the time? Stress can affect employee mood as well making them work less or not care much about the work they do because they are fed up with doing it day in and day out.  

Stress also causes distress to the human body. The brain controls the whole body and tells it what to do seven days a week and three hundred and sixty-five days a year. So it is natural that when someone’s mental health is not good the brain might not function properly as well. Many chronic and almost all autoimmune disorders can be traced and linked to increased stress in the workplace and increased stress and anxiety levels in general. Chronic skin disorders, eczema, and other chronic illnesses are an example of the negative effect stress can have on the body.

What Are the Solutions?

So it is natural that people would have had enough of it and would want to quit their respective jobs. On quitting your job you can collect employment as long as you were not fired for insubordination, misusing the products, doing anything immoral or illegal, or just failing to do a good enough job to justify keeping yourself around for a longer period of time. However, what about mental health-related reasons. When people leave their jobs due to high-stress levels or anxiety are they eligible to collect unemployment as well?

Mental health was always considered to be fake or made up. People always said that it’s just a phase or that it’s just in their heads and that positive thinking should help them recover. Ailments such as depression, anxiety, and stress were just considered buzzwords used by lazy people to get the higher-ups to cut them some slack since they claimed they were not in a state to work. However, since you cannot see anxiety, stress, or depression as easily as say a broken bone, people were reluctant to believe that something like this might even exist. After years of pushing and advocating for mental health when these ailments were finally recognized most of the patients were simply treated by giving them pills to counteract the effects of the anxiety or depressions and then sent on their way. While this was not a bad short term solution, this in the long term has led to what we are seeing all around us today, an opioid crisis in many major cities and countries of the world and millions of people relapsing into severe depression or anxiety when they get cut off from the tablets or try going off the strong antidepressants they have been popping like sugar candies since years. Stress levels have never been higher and it’s time for humans to actually listen to their body and mind and take the necessary actions to help themselves. This might mean distancing yourself from some toxic people in your life, changing your location, and where you stay, or even leaving your job.

Collecting Unemployment:

That sounds insane, right? How can I leave my job while we are in the middle of a financial and economic crisis? Just thinking about it stresses me out. People might not know this but citing stress as a reason for quitting your job does not disqualify you from collecting unemployment. Since you need to be actively looking around and applying for jobs in order to collect unemployment, as long as you are mentally and physically in a shape to keep applying and going for job interviews, you can collect unemployment money. Even when it comes to stress being a factor in you leaving your job, you can leave your job due to high levels of stress and still be eligible to collect unemployment.

This is true for most states across the United States. Unless you had to leave your job or got fired due to the inability to perform the work as required, inappropriate conduct, or any other form of major misconduct you might be eligible to collect unemployment from your state government. As long as the reason is documented and strong enough you are eligible to collect unemployment. However, the nitty gritties of this process are very detailed and it is advisable to contact a lawyer in order to make sure that you have all the documents and medical records you need to apply for unemployment citing stress as the reason for quitting your job. There must be evidence showing the nature of the workplace and just how stressful the workplace environment was. Ailments that are triggered by stress or made worse due to stress also qualify you to be able to collect unemployment.

However don’t just expect to waltz in there saying you are too stressed to work anymore and just start collecting money from the government, The government requires you to have a certified medical practitioner look at you analyze you, and make his recommendation on whether what you say is true or false and if actually leaving your job would do any good to you and your condition. Without the doctors backing and proof that you have been diagnosed, it is highly unlikely that the state would agree to give you unemployment. What you can do is go to the medical practitioner in advance before deciding to leave your job and if you get enough evidence to support your claims you can collect unemployment but that isn’t the only option. 

However, the recent push advocating better care for mental health has brought about new policies that employees can use to their advantage. Employment laws in Texas allow people to claim up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave without the fear of losing their job. People can also claim mental health benefits in occupations where it is known to be an occupational hazard. These claims however are very hard to make and get approved so it is best to consult a lawyer to find out your legal options and get a frank opinion on whether getting the claim is a possibility or not.

Other states such as Indiana consider the reason for unemployment. If you get fired with good cause, meaning performance issues, or just a general inability to cope with the office work, you are ineligible to collect unemployment but if there is not a good cause meaning that the company had no good reason to let you go which can happen due to budget cuts, foreclosures and so on then you are eligible to collect unemployment. If you leave a job with good cause, meaning you had a valid reason to leave such as ailments or even stress you are eligible to collect unemployment. If there is no good cause then it is assumed it was a personal choice made to either retire or pursue other interests making you ineligible for unemployment. These systems are simple to understand but it is always advisable to have a doctor look over the medical records and a lawyer to look over your company history and past interactions to see if there is sufficient evidence to prove extreme stress and burnout at the workplace and if based on these claims you would be eligible to get unemployment. 

Ways to De-stress:

There are other ways to reduce stress as well. People might not actually hate their job as much as they think they do. Stress makes it unpleasant for people to do the things they normally would have liked to do and reducing stress is a way to counter that feeling and try feeling normal and balanced again. One key exercise that people all over the world practice and agree on it being a great way to relax and reduce stress is meditation. Meditating every day for even a little while, however long or short the session maybe is a great way to just clear your head, recenter and realign yourself. Many people turn to meditation when they start feeling overwhelmed or over-anxious. Just simply blocking out other thoughts and focusing only on your breathing, your body, and yourself is a great way to just forget about the world and its problems and just take the time to regain your composure and get ready to take on the world again. 

Another way to de-stress is to go for therapy. Psychologists taking therapy sessions are a great outlet for stress and anxiety since you can vent out to them and just talk your heart out while having the security of doctor-patient confidentiality. Such therapy sessions while they might not seem much, are a great outlet because it is when you acknowledge these feelings that you can begin understanding and dissecting them realizing what is actually going on and you can gain back control over your life and your mental health and well being.

Humans have become a master of modern medicine. Most physical injuries and traumas that would have been deadly, a mere couple of years ago, are now treatable to the extent that you can move as nothing happened after getting treated. We have the latest tech when it comes to researching viruses, and diseases and treating them by coming up with ingenious vaccines and medication courses to counter the effects of a certain disease or bacteria. Humans have even gone to the extent of being able to clone animals. We have plastic surgery, orthopedics, and many more facets of the medical world all of which require a lot of learning and attention to detail to understand the field and actually operate or work with living humans after finishing their education and becoming a certified practitioner of medicine. So it is safe to say we have mastered the human body to a certain extent. There is however one part of the human body that has been completely ignored for centuries and is given the least importance by many people. It is only recently that people have realized the true destruction this ignorance can cause throughout the body. This aspect is the human brain and more specifically mental health.


While understanding and acknowledging your stresses and anxiety by quitting your job is a step in the right direction it is just a small step on a path that can take months or years to cover. The journey to recovery starts from leaving the toxicity behind. Then you get the space to process your emotions, understand them, and act on them. Stress and triggers will always be there and you will always have to watch out for what gets you stressed and riled up. You can however learn to understand why you react in the way you do and eventually learn to either let go or deal with that emotion. Sometimes it does seem like this stress and anxiety will be the death of you. But by working through these emotions and understanding yourself you will be able to tackle these stressors and anxieties head-on preparing you to take on the world once more because the greatest battle you will ever fight will be the one against yourself.

Can you collect unemployment if you quit job due to stress?

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